One of our very dear patients has written the following about her life journey of dealing with obesity. Not only has she very effectively dealt with this, but she has truly changed her life. My staff and I have been honored to help her achieve her goals and dreams. Her words and her life are a testament to what we are capable of in terms of making positive changes in our lives. If you ask me, she is an amazing person who absolutely rocks!
David B. Reath, MD
At age 36, I have worn every dress size from 28 to 8. Growing up in southeastern Kentucky the very least of all concern was fitness and nutrition. In fact, if I lost five pounds my grandmother insisted I was ill. For every occasion we ate. If we were sad,we ate. If we had a new birth, a death, just happy, a birthday, Christmas,unday after church, any little thing gave us a reason to cook and an excuse to eat. It’s no surprise that I was overweight by age 10.
Childhood obesity is cruel.
Children can be very mean. Moreover, adults can be even more ruthless. I was always “the fat kid,” so as I aged and became more mature I was “the fat girl.” I was forever “on a diet.” I even started making excuses. “If I lose the weight, I’m still stuck with the stretch marks and the extra skin, and toll it’s taken on my body already.” So, I should just eat and enjoy food,“that’s all I get out of life” because no matter what, I am probably still not going to be excited about getting naked with somebody.
I am more than willing to allow my failure to be put out there for everyone to see and judge because he changed my whole outlook on life and for that he deserves credit. If you’ve ever been wounded by the words and opinions of others you know the sadness, and the hurtfulness this causes.
Everyday, I would constantly pick myself apart. No clothes fit like I thought they should, no outfit made me feel better, and no amount of makeup could brighten my outlook. The reflection in the mirror was my worst enemy, and the constant replay of my inadequacies.
The external voices that spent all those years making me feel worthless eventually turn into my voice inside my own head. So even in my twenties, when I lost weight, I still didn’t believe I was thin. I was still ashamed and I still felt an overwhelming urge to run away from all those horrible things I heard and felt by eating. Not realizing the voice that was repeating the insults and put-downs was now just me.
My children growing and learning saved me from my own verbal and mental abuse. When I noticed my three year old saying she had “a big fat butt” I knew I had to make a change if I ever planned to raise good humans. What separates me from others struggling with their appearance and weight is I found the cure. I found Dr. David Reath.
Meeting the staff at Dr. Reath’s office was like a breath of fresh air. Tressa was the first person I saw when I walked in and she was so much more than welcoming and kind. She was helpful, calming, and reassuring. It set the pace for the entire appointment. Cassina took me back where I would meet Dr. Reath. She had such grace and was so uplifting as she gave me instructions. Later she would also answer tons of questions and remain a helpful and wonderful part of my journey.
Dr. Reath came in for our consultation. And, he was honest. It wasn’t about money or time. It was what he genuinely thought was the right procedure(s)for me. After undergoing three other plastic surgery consultations. I knew he was the right surgeon for me. He made me feel comfortable. He was brilliant. He was reassuring. He was confident. He also told me something I needed to hear. At first I was disappointed, but he was right. I needed to keep the weight off for two years and come back.
That day, I started a process that has now become my life.
No more meal skipping, binge eating, or high sugar, fat, and carb meals and drinks. Water, and chicken became some of my dearest friends. Walking, jogging, and crunches became my new “normal” activity. In the blink of an eye two years had past and I had lost the last few pounds and maintained my “goal weight”as suggested.
I scheduled my appointment and was eager to see Dr. Reath. Upon arrival I assumed he was busy and would never remember me. I walked in and expected to have to explain my problem areas all over again, tell him where I needed work and what would make me happy. Wrong again. He not only remembered what we previously discussed but complimented me on my weight loss and new healthy appearance. We talked and immediately scheduled my surgery.
Natasha was so helpful and more than willing to accommodate every request and concern I had. She was approachable and worked around all the details so I was comfortable.
My surgery was February 10, 2017.
Everything went excellent from my perspective. The morning after is my most memorable moment. Even wrapped in post surgical dressing I can honestly say this. For the first time in 30 years when I looked in the mirror I didn’t see a fat girl. I didn’t feel worthless. I didn’t only want to see my face. I finally wanted to turn all the lights on so I could see my whole physical structure. I remember being so overwhelmingly happy I cried.
The second memorable thing was that same morning. Dr. Reath called. He called me himself, on a Saturday morning, “just to check on me.” If he hadn’t impressed me before, in that moment I had the utmost respect for him. He actually wanted to know how I was feeling, doing, and if I needed anything. My heart was so full of happiness and I can’t tell you how much both of those things mean to me because words fail to bring it to life. He is just phenomenal!
My whole experience from the front door to the post care and check-ups has been remarkable. My self confidence has and continues to improve. For the first time in my life I have a two- piece bathing suit. I feel more comfortable going to the gym, doing Bootcamp with my girlfriends, and riding bicycles with my children. Finally, I know my worth. I make healthy eating choices and constantly strive to be the best version of me I can be.
Dr. Reath and his staff changed my life in a way I couldn’t myself. I am so proud to be his patient. I feel so blessed to have met the wonderful women who are his staff. The results are better than I anticipated and the quality of care exceeded all of my expectations.
These people taught me so much, but everlasting is this:
Never give up on a goal because of the time it will take to achieve it. Time will pass no matter what. So, be focused, be determined, and never quit. Life is beautiful.
Note: Her story is featured in the new edition of Your Beauty Magazine which just hit the stands. Get your free copy here.